Catoosa County to test new voting machines before statewide rollout
Catoosa County is one of six counties testing out new voting machines for November elections.
The other five counties include Carroll, Bartow, Paulding, Decatur and Lowndes.
The test-run will cover municipal elections for mayors, city councils and countywide referendums. The rest of the state will wait until 2020 to roll-out the new machines in time for the presidential primary election. The entire rollout will cost the state about $170-million for more than 30,000 machines, according to Georgia Secretary of State spokesperson Tess Hammock.
Catoosa County Elections Director Tonya Moore says the Georgia Secretary of State's Office first asked for volunteers and sought out counties with various population sizes and ones set to host elections this fall.
“We’re excited for the opportunity. It actually puts us ahead of the game once this is rolled out throughout the state,” Moore said.
Moore told Channel 3 her staff completed training on the new machines in Atlanta last month.
“Everything is going to have to be updated and new from what it was because as we say it's a different process,” Moore said.
Voters will use touchscreens to make their choices and will be able to review those choices before the ballot is printed and reviewed a second time. The ballot will then be scanned and dropped into a locked container.
“Once the paper is scanned into that system we can actually go back and audit what has been actually cast as far as if we have a recount or a close race,” Moore explained. “We'll have a lot of poll workers working and monitoring to make sure that no one walks off and leaves their ballot lying on the printer or if they try to leave with their ballot.”
An open house will be held in Catoosa County at the Freedom Center at 5238 Evitt Street in Ringgold on September 30. The community will be able to demo the new machines and address any questions or concerns.
The open house will start at 5 p.m.
You can register to vote in Georgia online and follow these steps:
1. Click "Register"
2. click "I Want to Register to Vote!"
3. Click "register Online Using Valid GA DL/ID#"
4. Check each box by statements that apply to you
5. Click "Begin Voter Registration"
6. If registering for the first time, click "new registration" or select "change voter information" if updating your existing registration
7. Continue filling out the online form using the necessary information until completed